My Favourite Things To Do In Vancouver

English Bay Sunset

I went to English Bay on my very first day of being in Vancouver. It was quite remarkable when I finally made it to Canada’s West Coast since it had always been a dream of mine to go there. The city itself has a vibe and energy I love, particularly in the west end by the sea. To watch the sun go down on the west coast and transform the sky into gorgeous red, orange, or pink shades is such an amazing experience. I notice in a lot of places, it’s not usually that popular for a lot of people to watch the sun go down by the water, but here it’s a literal event in the summer. Things quiet down in the cooler months, so you can have more of a solo experience if you check out an English Bay sunset in the fall/winter/early spring.

English Bay Sunset (Photo by me)

Café Hopping

I realize a lot of cities and towns have nice cafes to chill at, but Vancouver takes this to the next level with countless indie cafes and chain cafes alike – in various locations. If you’re feeling like chilling by the west end, there’s so many cool cafes there, as well as in trendy Gastown, upscale Yaletown, and around Main Street. As I said before, Vancouver has a unique energy in its core that I really love, so when I want to go out with my laptop and get creative, a cafe in the city is such a fun thing to do. ❤

My Favourite Cafes:

Trees Organic Coffee (Gastown)

Dalina (Main Street)

Starbucks (At English Bay and Yaletown!)

Take Five Cafe (Granville Street)

Coffee Bar (Gastown)

JJ Bean (Close to Robson Street)

Buro The Espresso Bar (Gastown)

A café in Gastown (Photo by me)

A Rainy Forest Walk

Lynn Valley in North Vancouver is the best place for a gorgeous temperate rainforest walk. There’s been times where it was sunny in the downtown area, but across the Burrard Inlet, North Vancouver was under a rain cloud. There’s something about rainy days that makes me feel inspired and refreshed – and a rainy forest walk can be so rejuvenating. I also recommend the Capilano River park forests or Stanley Park when it’s raining. Appreciating dark beauty will help you enjoy the rain more. If you happen to visit Lynn Valley, do stop by End of the Line General Store – you can order tea, coffee, food, some grocery items, and cold drinks before or after your hike.

Taking The Skytrain

As a newcomer to Vancouver, I was amazed at the concept of a sky train. Being originally from a small Ontario city, I loved the idea of a subway-like transit where you get to see a great deal of the city while you’re on it. You can get from Burnaby to Vancouver (or vice versa) in 20 minutes or less by taking the train. In the morning, you can see the gorgeous sunrise above the mountain range when you take the train in the morning. It also connects you to Burnaby, New West, Surrey, Richmond, and Coquitlam. They recently put in the Evergreen Extension a few years ago, so you can access hikes around Coquitlam without having to drive. I enjoy the views of the city and mountains as the train zooms above the road traffic.

Live Music

Being a big city, Vancouver hosts a lot of entertainers – from mainstream to indie. I’ve been able to see a number of live shows – August Burns Red, Slipknot, Rezz, Tiesto/Steve Aoki, Bob Dylan, Skye Wallace, Black Tiger Sex Machine, Birthday Massacre, etc. Your chances of seeing bands or DJs you love are higher in a big city – and Vancouver always has some sort of event happening on the weekends.

Walking Around Olympic Village

This concrete jungle on the water has a chill vibe – and if you’re a cityscape lover, this is a view you’ll enjoy. Whether you take a walk at night or during the day, it’s a lovely spot to go for a jog (Which I’ve done a lot in the past) or simply take a walk around False Creek. I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t love to live in a high rise building around that area with a view of the North Shore Mountains and water. One can certainly dream as they admire the city’s architecture. Going here at sunset is highly recommended. You can either walk all the way to English Bay and watch the sunset there or you can watch the glow around the highrises from the little island on the south side of False Creek (If you haven’t been there before – be sure to check it out!)


Grabbing A Tea & Strolling Along The Boardwalk In New Westminster

A very chill thing you can do on your day off is buy a tea from the “Great Tea Wall Company” at the River Quay Market. There are also treats you can buy at the little bakeries close by. After, you can take a stroll along the boardwalk and enjoy some live music here and there. It’s pretty quiet here even on a weekend.

The Grouse Grind

This grueling uphill hike takes you to the top of Grouse Mountain. Depending on your fitness level and how often you stop to take a break – it can take anywhere from 40 minutes to 2 hours to hike up. My time is usually around an hour and 5 minutes, give or take. I love doing this for the fitness challenge and also to enjoy some delicious food at the top where there’s a café and restaurant. There’s a gondola you can take down so you don’t have to risk hurting your knees on a downhill hike. The last time I was there, they charged $20 to take the gondola back down – the views are amazing as the ride takes you back to sea level.

Taking A Ferry To Bowen Island

Bowen Island is an awesome place to explore for a day trip. The ferry from Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal is only 15 minutes to get there. Once you’re on the island, there are a couple of cafes, restaurants, shops, and even an ice cream shop to treat yourself. Further away there is a library and several easy but scenic nature trails. One place I’d still like to go to is Mount Gardner. It takes 3-5 hours to complete the entire loop and I’d love to do it so I can get a great view of the Gulf Islands. If you time it right, you can catch a gorgeous sunset over the bay as you sail back to West Vancouver.

Whytecliff Park

This is a prime location to catch a sunset. You can climb up one of the cliffs and relax as the sun goes down. Other people like tanning and swimming here during the day. As a dusk lover, I tend to arrive after the big crowds leave. The views here are stunning and I really enjoy climbing up the cliffs. Afterwards, you can stop by Blenz (Across from the ferry terminal 15 minutes away from this park) and grab some refreshments if you want. I like doing this to end my lovely evening.

So there we have it! I hope you enjoyed these ideas from a girl who really loves Vancouver. ❤



  1. It is interesting that a relatively large percentage of my blogging/writer friends live in Vancouver. My wife and I visited once before the pandemic and fell in love with it. Perhaps it’s just one of those places that promote creativity.

  2. Wow Sara! You’d make an excellent travel guide/travel journalist. You’ve highlighted such beautiful parts of your city and I feel like I’ve walked around the cafes and beautiful scenery with you. I think I would fly all that way to see the sun go down at English bay and also to catch the skytrain. It sounds like a magical experience. Thank you for showing me around your “hood”, I loved it!

    • Thank you so much for checking it out and for reading. 🙂 I appreciate the kind words! I could see myself being a travel blogger – around this whole area there’s many iconic places to visit within a day or two. Maybe I could write more about the amazing areas in and around Vancouver!

  3. The landscape is so beautiful up there. Texas is pretty flat but the north Swedish High Coast where I originally am from also has a lot of mountains and forests and a coast with bays and fjords.

  4. Beautiful shots, Sara. Love this post! Being from Florida I’ve always had an interest in the north lands. Plus Smallville was filmed within Vancouver and that is my favorite series all time 🙂

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s